Unless you have already bought a ticket for the Vatican Museums… then skip them! They are always crowded, let alone when it rains! Rome can offer a thousand options for things to do on a rainy day.

1) Visit churches

You are not Catholic or religious? No problem, you don’t need to be Catholic or religious to appreciate the many artistic treasures you will find. Go to visit papal basilicas (i.e. Santa Maria Maggiore, San Giovanni in Laterano, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme) or other churches, such as Sant’Ignazio, Chiesa del Gesù, Santa Maria in Vallicella, Santa Maria in Trastevere, Santa Cecilia… the list is endless. Simply venture.

2) Capitoline Museums

This is one of the many undervisited gems. Tons of spectacular things to see, including the Lupa (that is the she-wolf, symbol of Rome), plus a breath-taking view from the coffee place at the top (if you are lucky and is has stopped raining in the meantime, even better!). There are never lines to buy tickets.

3) Palazzo Massimo

Who knows why this place is visited by only a handful of people every day. It should be as crowded as the Vatican Museums. If you are into Ancient Romans, this is the place to visit. Statues, mosaics, frescoes, inlaid marbles, and in the basement there is the most spectacular collection of ancient Roman coins in the world (the gold ones are amazing). A must if you are in Rome (and not only when it rains).

4) Galleria Doria Pamphilij

Centrally located (the entrance is in Via del Corso), this picture gallery gives you an idea of the life of a noble family a few centuries ago. Paintings and artworks are displayed in the beautiful galleries and rooms where the Pamphilij family used to live. The descendants of this family live in the other side of this palace. There are works by Raphael, Caravaggio, Velasquez, and so on. Not bad for a rainy day.

5) Basilica of San Clemente

If it happens to rain when you are around the Colosseum and you don’t know what to do… well visit this other must-see site in Rome. This three-level church will keep you busy and interested for a good hour (especially if you have a paper guide with you). Here you will understand very well why Rome is called “lasagna city”!

7) Maxxi

Are you into contemporary art and want to see one of the most spectacular modern buildings of Rome? Then go to Maxxi. It is an excellent choice for something to do when it rains.

8) Stylish bars

If you are tired of walking, try one of the below bars. You will not be disappointed and the frustration of rain will disappear in no time!

  • Babington’s Tea (Piazza di Spagna, 23. At the bottom of the steps, left side – the first English tearoom opened in Rome)
  • Chiostro del Bramante (Arco della Pace 5, very close to Piazza Navona – modern looking and a warm atmosphere)
  • Cafè Doria (Via della Gatta, 1, close to the Pantheon)
  • Antico Caffè Greco (Via dei Condotti, 86 – a bit upscale, but with a long history. The favorite coffee place of countless celebrities. Check out the beautiful artworks on the walls).
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